Saudi Arabia names Prince Salman as heir apparent
Prince Salman has been appointed the new crown prince of Saudi Arabia, becoming the next-in-line to 88-year-old King Abdullah's throne.
The appointment, by royal decree quoted on state television, follows the death in Geneva on Saturday of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud. Prince Salman, 76, is the current defence minister and has been governor of the capital Riyadh for many decades. Prince Nayef, who was 78, died during medical treatment. Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud is thought to be pragmatic and more liberal-minded than his late brother, who was seen as more conservative than King Abdullah and personally committed to maintaining strict religious traditions. Prince Salman will stay on as defence minister and also becomes deputy prime minister. Younger brother Prince Ahmed becomes interior minister, state television said, while King Abdullah remains prime minister.